Ask Away Blog: Here's What You Need To Know About Medical Negligence Claims

Here's What You Need To Know About Medical Negligence Claims

Monday, June 15, 2020


Medical negligence, also sometimes referred to as medical malpractice though the two differ, can be defined as the failure of a medical professional to act in a way that provides their patient with the agreed standard of care, potentially causing them harm. Medical negligence claims come under the umbrella category, personal injury, and are handled by personal injury lawyers. 

What it actually means

The definition of medical negligence is complex at best but essentially stems around the fact that doctors and medical personnel have a ‘duty of care’ to their patients. If at any point, or for any reason, a medical professional deviates from this duty of care, then it is classed as medical negligence as they have failed to act in accordance with their duty.

The difference between medical negligence and medical malpractice

Medical negligence, as we have just discussed, means deviating from the agreed standard of care, however, this deviation may or may not cause harm to the patient. Medical negligence becomes medical malpractice when the actions of the medical professional lead to injury or harm to their patient. For a medical negligence claim to be successful in court, there must usually be medical malpractice in order for damages to be claimed.
 
Proving your case

Medical negligence cases are notoriously difficult to prove, with the plaintiff’s lawyer often only being able to work on the defendant’s own medical notes, which can be self-serving and difficult to understand. In order to put a case together for their client, medical negligence lawyers must work with third party medical personnel who must then assess the actions of the defendant and determine whether they were correct. Very few medical professionals will outwardly admit to medical negligence, and so lawyers must be creative and persistent in order to get to the truth.
 
In it for the long haul

Because medical malpractice cases can be so complex, they often take quite a lot of time to complete. Although the duration of the process should not put you off making a justifiable claim, it is worth noting that many medical negligence claims take around 18 months to complete, with some lasting much longer. Despite their duration, most medical negligence cases are settled outside of court with settlements rather than a trial.
 
Funding your claim

A lengthy legal process can quickly become a costly affair, but it’s important to realize that most personal injury lawyers will work off a no-win-no-fee basis, meaning that their fee will be set as a percentage of your overall settlement value. If you are worried about funding your medical negligence claim, then make sure that you discuss this with your lawyer.
 
Getting the right help

Last but not least, given the complex nature of medical malpractice cases, their duration, and what is at stake, it is important that people reach out for help from experienced personal injury lawyers. Having the right team behind you can help to make a medical negligence case much less stressful, not to mention it will also maximize your chance of success and the value of the settlement you receive.





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